'The Poker House'

Feb 13, 2014

'The Poker House'

Lori Petty’s career pretty much defines the term “flash in the pan”; she went from rising young star in 1991′s “Point Break” to bona fide box-office draw in 1992′s “A League of Their Own” to game over in the unloved “Tank Girl” (1995). Petty ...

'Top of the Lake'

Feb 13, 2014

'Top of the Lake'

Director: Jane Campion, Garth Davis Language: English The cinema-to-TV exodus continues with “The Piano” director Jane Campion helming this mini-series, a New Zealand take on the small-town murder mystery milieu of “Twin Peaks” but with David Lynch’s supernatural interests replaced by Campion’s sexual politics. ...

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'

Feb 6, 2014

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'

Hollywood always goes through its trends, but it’s becoming increasingly clear we live in the era of the “series reboot.” From Spider-Man to 007, we see tired characters and properties revived with a younger cast, fresher digital effects and about a gazillion more dollars ...

'Killers'

Feb 6, 2014

'Killers'

Japanese-Indonesian co-production “Killers” starts off all too predictably for a torture-porn film. We get about a minute’s worth of a nude young woman shagging an unseen male, then once she’s been sufficiently eroticized, we see her tied to a chair, suffocating inside a plastic ...

'Compliance'

Feb 6, 2014

'Compliance'

Director: Craig Zobel Language: English A fast-food franchise manager (Ann Dowd) is having a bad day already when the police call and say that one of her teen employees (Dreama Walker) has stolen a customer’s purse. They ask her to strip-search her employee, which ...

'The Wolf of Wall Street'

Jan 30, 2014

'The Wolf of Wall Street'

I’m working on a screenplay which, as they say in the industry, is “inspired by true events”. It’s about an actor — let’s call him Leo — who at a very early stage in his career co-stars with his idol — let’s call him ...

'The East'

Jan 30, 2014

'The East'

“The East” is your basic deep undercover cop thriller, but with a provocatively contemporary setup: In the lead role is Brit Marling, whose character isn’t actually a cop, but a private-sector spy named Sarah who’s been sent to infiltrate the mysterious “eco-terrorist” anarchist cell ...

'We Are Legion'

Jan 30, 2014

'We Are Legion'

Director: Brian Knappenberger Language: English What do we really know about Anonymous, the activist organization that seemingly springs out of nowhere to attack institutions online? This documentary traces the group’s origins on 4chan, rooted in outrageous humor and trolling, and the sudden shift into ...

Searching for hidden meaning in a Kubrick classic

Jan 23, 2014

Searching for hidden meaning in a Kubrick classic

I’m old enough — barely — to have seen Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece “The Shining” when it opened in the theaters back in 1980. My strongest memory of this tale of writer’s block meets cabin-fever insanity is that my girlfriend’s drink wound up in ...